We all love to munch on crispy French fries, fried chicken, or other delicious and greasy food choices. But knowing how unhealthy fried food can be means we can’t indulge in our favorite foods very often. Dunking our food in to hot grease may make it taste good, but our bodies do not appreciate it and it can have long-term health effects that can be deadly.
Grease and oil can clog up your arteries, increase your cholesterol levels, and put you at risk for major heart disease. Studies have even found that those who consume fried food regularly are 2x more likely to experience premature death than those who decline the fried options. The reason all of that grease and oil is bad comes down to the fact that food absorbs all of the fats while cooking, and you end up consuming more calories and fat than you should be.
So what are you to do if you want all the goodness of fried foods, without the negative health affects associated with oil and grease consumption? A new product on the market seems to have a solution, removing the majority of the oil and replacing it with concentrated hot air; frying your food in a healthier and safer manner.
Our Overall Best Pick ended up being the Philips XL AirFryer. Noted as the original air fryer, this appliance can do it all, and in large quantities as well.
It is spacious, able to feed up to 4 people at a time, and its digital touchscreen gives you full control over how your food is cooked. It also comes with a cookbook and app, offering you over 150 recipes to get you started with air frying.
Our Budget Pick would have to be the GoWISE USA GW22621 as it is not only smaller and more compact, but also includes the most in regards to setting options.
Equipped with 7 pre-set options on it’s digital touchscreen, you will be able to save yourself the effort of having to figure out cooking time and temperature for the most popular food items.
Quick Comparison: Top 7 Best Air Fryers
Air fryers all work off of the same basic concept, which is using hot air to fry food instead of oil. This doesn’t mean that all air fryers are created equally though, and there are a lot of options on the market for you to decide between.
The key factor you want in whichever air fryer you purchase is that is does what it says it’s going to do. An air fryer needs to be able to produce crispy foods that are not dried out and still taste delicious. It is no secret that air fried foods won’t taste exactly the same as deep fried choices, but it should be close enough that you will continue to use it again and again. Below we will look at our 7 picks for the best air fryer on the market today.
1. Philips XL Air Fryer
For those of you who like to cook in large quantities, or have a family that you need to prepare food for, the Philips XL Air Fryer offers a large capacity that can hold enough food to feed up to four people.
As anyone who has to cook larger meals knows, timing is everything and can affect the meal if you aren’t precise.
The Philips XL Air Fryer takes that in to consideration, and uses a digital touchscreen so you can easily and quickly select the preferences and times that are suited to you.
The touchscreen also offers a preset setting, making it quick and easy for you to program in some of your most frequently cooked items, which the fryer will then remember and use each time.
This appliance has the ability to fry, grill, roast, or even bake your foods for you, and is equipped with a 60-minute timer so you don’t have to worry about overcooking anything.
If you want a healthier way to fry your food, the Philips XL can give you similar results with 75% less fat than a regular deep fryer. Using only a tablespoon of oil, the air fryer will then use rapid air technology to ensure that your food is cooked evenly.
2. GoWISE USA GW22621
Smaller in size, the GOWISE USA GW22621 is an option worth looking in to if you don’t have ample counter space and what a more compact air fryer.
The saying that great things come in small packages can be applied here though, as this air fryer offers the user a variety of cooking options to completely customize your experience.
There are 7 built in smart options for you to play with, making it extremely easy to just pop your food in, press one button, and leave the rest to your appliance.
For people who want to manually choose their preferences, the digital touchscreen will allow you to set the temperature anywhere from 175 – 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can then cook from 1-30 minutes, and the GOWISE USA GW22621 will automatically go in to standby mode once the timer is complete.
Rapid air circulation ensures fast and evenly cooked foods, and once completed the removable basket makes serving easy.
3. BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD PuriFry
Instead of simply relying on rapid air circulation, the BLACK+DECKER PuriFry is equipped with dual convection fans to powerfully move the hot air around. This allows you to make crispy foods quickly and without the use of unhealthy oils.
The 2L basket is a medium sized option, allowing you to feed anywhere from 2-4 people, depending on how big appetites are.
Included is a handy guide that helps you understand how much of a specific item to place in the basket, and what the optimal time and temperature should be.
The design keeps with the idea of simplicity by removing any screen and instead using dials in order to set the timer and temperature. There are two indicator lights, one showing you when the machine is on, and one that will automatically shut off when the desired temperature is met.
The basket is equipped with a cool touch handle, ensuring that you don’t accidently burn yourself when removing food. The handle will stay cool throughout the entire process, so you can touch and move it with ease.
Both the basket and separator are dishwasher friendly, so clean up doesn’t need to be a hassle. The surfaces are also non-stick, so no need to line or spray before use.
4. Big Boss Oil-Less Air Fryer
Instead of just relying on rapid air for cooking, the Big Boss Oil-Less Air Fryer combines halogen, convection, and infrared heat to give your food crispiness without the use of oil.
Most people like buying quick frozen items that they can throw together after a long day, but traditional cooking methods can either be time consuming or leave the food soggy and uncrispy.
This appliance is designed with frozen foods in mind, and is best used to cook what you have without needing to defrost.
To make meals even quicker and easier, the Big Boss Oil-Less Air Fryer is equipped with two trays, so you can stack foods; allowing you to cook two different items at the same time. With faster cooking times and the ability to get everything cooked at once, this appliance is more energy efficient.
The simple panel has both the time and temperature dial, as well as pictures of different foods to help guide you to the optimal settings for those items. The indicator lights will let you know what your machine is on and also when the heat is ready.
5. T-fal FZ7002 ActiFry
Another larger sized option, the T-fal ActiFry can accommodate up to 2.2lbs of food, allowing you to get more done quicker. All it takes is a tablespoon or less of oil, and you can craft larger batches of your favorite fried foods.
Using it’s patented Heat Pulse System, the ActiFry circulates hot air to cook your food evenly and keep it crispy on the outside.
It includes a precision spoon to help you measure out how much oil you actually need, reducing the chance that you will use too much.
The T-fal FZ7002 ActiFry has an LCD screen that shows the timer and cooking countdown. When complete, a buzzer will sound and alert you to come and enjoy your fresh, hot food. There is a simple on and off switch, making the appliance easy to learn and simple to use. As there is no temperature control, you only need to worry about setting the timer, and then letting the ActiFry do the rest.
The pan is easily removed and is ceramic coated non-stick, making clean up a lot quicker and hassle free. The components are all dishwasher safe, leaving you to only have to wipe down the outside with a damp cloth.
The large lid is secured tightly so that you don’t experience any splatter while cooking. It is also designed to stay cool throughout the entire process, so you can go ahead and touch it without fear.
For those of us who love fried foods, but hate the smell that comes along with cooking them, the T-fal FZ7002 ActiFry has a built in filter so you can keep your kitchen odor free.
6. Avalon Bay Air Fryer
Using Rapid Air Circulation Technology, the Air Fryer by Avalon Bay aims to fry foods while using little to no oil at all. The 3.7 quart capacity will give you enough space to cook batches of food while retaining the crispiness that you desire.
Using a clear digital display, you can set both the timer and the temperature to whatever you desire. There is an included recipe book to help you get started, and will guide you on the ideal settings for the items you intend to make.
If you’re new to air frying, it can be a tad confusing, so having a book to reference may make it easier on you starting out.
The appliance is made from 100% BPA free plastic, so you do not need to worry about chemicals leaking in to your foods while you cook. The internal components are non stick, and there are included accessories to help you cook different types of foods. The baking dish and multi-use rack can give you some additional freedom, allowing you to bake as well as fry. When you’re cooking something saucy, throw the rack in to ensure that your items don’t stick during the process.
The fryer basket is detachable, allowing you to move the food from the Air Fryer straight to plates. The large sized handle helps to keep the basket firmly in place while cooking, and then gives you a good sized area to grip on to while transferring.
7. Philips Avance Air Fryer
This appliance uses their patented TurboStar Technology to keep hot air circulating in multiple directions while cooking. This means that the food will be up to 50% more evenly cooked and will require little to no oil at all.
The TurboStar Technology is also crafted in a way that makes the Air Fryer instantly hot, foregoing the need to have to wait for the temperature to get to a suitable cooking degree.
Struggling to figure out the exact settings to get your food perfect can be annoying, so the Avance Air Fryer is quipped with 4 pre-set options that allow you to cook some of the most popular foods without worry.
Able to serve up to four people, the Philips Avance Air Fryer can be used to quickly put together a meal, and save you both time and energy overall. You can throw foods in, set the timer, and rest assured that when it’s ready the machine will automatically turn to warming mode to keep everything hot for when you want it.
The basket and drawer are both dishwasher safe, so clean up can be completed quickly and effectively. The EasyClick Handle allows you to switch between all of your accessories, and unlatch quickly when you’re done and watch to wash it.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
Most of us are accustomed to the traditional way of frying food; submerging the items in to a pot of boiling hot oil and waiting for them to get crispy. With air fryers, there is no submersion, no pot of oil, and in many cases no oil at all. So how does the food get so crispy?
The best air fryers work by using Rapid Air Technology, which means they use very hot heat that circulates around the food. The temperature can range about the same as a regular oven, from 175°F - 400°F, and in some ways this makes them similar to convection ovens.
The difference, however, is that air fryers do not simply heat from above, and the air is rapidly moved around the small basket space with the help of a built in fan. This is why an air fryer can fry your foods much quicker than a traditional convection oven, because the speed of the air and the small space of the basket allow for heat to penetrate the foods much faster.
What Else Can Your Air Fryer Do?
As air fryers work in a similar fashion to convection ovens, you aren’t limited to only creating fried food inside them.
Many air fryers on the market have the ability to fry, bake, roast, and even simply cook whatever food you decide to make. The air fryer will do this quicker than a convection oven or a conventional oven, and some include accessories that help to make this possible.
What you will need to look out for is air fryers that include baking trays or roasting racks, as these are designed with variety in mind. It is also beneficial to go for brans that allow you more freedom in your options, such as models that are equipped with a touchscreen and pre-set choices.
For those of you who are new to air fryers, some come with included recipe books and cooking information, teaching you how to get the most out of your air fryer. These cookbooks will include fried foods, as well as recipes for things you can bake, roast, and cook.
Benefit of Using Air Fryers
As much as we may love the deliciousness of fried foods, the health risks are too numerous to simply ignore. Among various concerns, the consumption of oil fried foods can lead to weight gain, obesity, and even heart disease; so finding an alternative can be important for your health.
The issue with fried foods lies in the oil, which is full of trans fats. Trans fats can raise your cholesterol levels, cause heart problems, and even put you at a higher risk for a stroke, so limiting your consumption is important. This is the key factor in why air fryers are a healthier option, as they use on average about 70%-80% less oil that traditional frying methods.
We all know it’s unhealthy in general to consume fried foods constantly, but on the days when you’re craving some French fries or chicken nuggets, air frying will allow you to enjoy them with less concern.
While all air fryers do use far less oil than a traditional deep fryer, that doesn’t mean they are oil free completely.
Some models can operate with only around a tablespoon of oil, while others may require a bit more. Then you have certain brands that can fry your foods without any oil added, allowing you to choose whether you want to use any or not.
If you’re making the switch because you cannot consume any oil, or because you just want a healthier alternative, then it’s going to be important that you find a brand that meets your oil requirements. For those who don’t mind still using some oil while frying, the options on the market are vaster. But that doesn’t mean you cant find 100% oil less air fryers, you just will have to hunt a bit harder.
If there is one thing that drives me crazy every day, it’s my lack of counter space in my apartment. I love to bake and cook, and new appliances and gadgets are always on my wish list. But my apartment isn’t designed with a lot of empty space, so when I purchase something I need to stop and consider where exactly I am going to put it.
Air fryers come in all different shapes and sizes, and it is important to consider how much space you have before purchasing one. If you’re lucky enough to have a lot of free space, then you can look at models all the way up to 5quarts. But if you’re more like me, and lack the room for a spacious appliance, you will want to consider the smaller options on the market.
It’s obvious that the smaller the air fryer the less it will cook, but some brands have tried to counter this by making them taller and integrating multiple racks. This allows you to cook food on top of each other instead of simply in a flat basket. Looking for these types of features may help you find the best air fryer for you.
Manual versus Digital
This one comes down to more of a personal preference, but some people can feel strongly one way over the other. If you like your appliances to have a newer look and feel, then you may be more drawn to those that offer a touchscreen.
Manual fryers offer a more simplified approach, but can also reduce the amount of options you have overall. Touchscreen models are more likely to have preset options, and this can allow you to cook popular items easily without trying to calculate the correct temperature and cooking time.
If you don’t like being overwhelmed with options, and want an appliance that is easy to use out of the box, then the manual options may be a better fit. These usually only have two dials, one for temperature and one for cooking time, so you just need to turn it on and go.
Again this feature is simply a personal choice without impact on the device itself, but when you have your kitchen designed a certain way you may be very partial to a particular color.
Not all air fryers come in different color options, and the majority will either be black or white/silver. For those of you who have a specific color scheme going, you may like to know that there are brands that offer fun and brighter colors, so you can spice up your kitchen.
If you’re opting for a larger model that will be on your counter every day, then having some freedom in color may be important. It probably won’t be a main factor in which model you buy, but once you’ve honed in on the features you want you can then look around and find the color you want to match.
Not many people love to clean after cooking, so air fryers that are simple and quick to clean are a great option. Since these are appliances, you won’t find one that you can put completely in the dishwasher, but the internal parts that get dirtiest can come in dishwasher friendly designs.
The frying basket is going to be the part that you will ideally want to throw in with a load of dishes, as this is where the food cooks and it will get sticky and dirty with use. If you would prefer to not have to sit and scrub at it, look for models that have a removable and dishwasher safe basket.
The other component that you want not want to hand wash is the drip tray, where all the extra oil or fat or food walls in to. This can get pretty grimy fast, throwing that in the wash with the basket will save you both time and energy.
As this is an electronic appliance, you may want to find out what the warranty is on your new air fryer. Although the goal is to buy one that works well and doesn’t break easily, things can happen outside of our control and it’s comforting to know that we can get it replaced without issue.
Air fryers can be expensive, and spending your money on one just to have it breakdown is a frustrating experience. With a warranty you know that any manufacturing defect will be covered and the company will help you if you need it.
Warranties can vary significantly, so always take the time to read what they offer. They can range from none at all, to six months, a year, and even two years or more depending on the brand. The length of the warranty is important, as is what the warranties cover.
Some warranties will only cover specific components, while others will cover your entire air fryer. Some will only cover it if specific things go wrong, and not cover other common issues, so do your reading and factor that in to your decision. In the end, a good warranty can be worth spending a little bit extra. You may never need to use it, but in the rare cases that you do it can end up saving you a lot of money.
With all of the options that are currently on the market, it’s likely that you will be able to find something that provides you with exactly what you need. By doing your research, considering all of the above points, and focusing on what you want you can narrow down your search and find the best air fryer for you.